OMAHA, Neb. – I don’t believe in objectivity in journalism, not because I don’t think it’s admirable. I just don’t think it’s attainable. Each reporter comes into his or her jobs with a set of experiences, both personally and professionally, that shape their viewpoints.
I do, however, believe in fairness and treating each story and each source with it. That’s a whole different debate that can be discussed later. But I share all this because the story I wrote today is one that is a perfect example of the struggle in striving for objectivity.
Title IX turns 40 years old today, and to say the law shaped my life would be an understatement. Without it, I would not have had the opportunities to play sports growing up. I surely would not be covering them.
I believe strongly in the goal and aspirations of Title IX, and I cringe at its misapplication and the misconceptions that come with it.
Perhaps that’s why it was refreshing to write a story about a program that is fulfilling the expectations of the law, and even exceeding them. The easiest way to measure Florida’s success in women’s sports is just to look at the titles – 109 in the SEC since 1979-82. Considering the men have been competing in the conference for more than twice as long, that’s remarkable.
And it speaks to a commitment of resources, in hiring coaches and building facilities, spending on recruiting and marketing women’s teams.
“There’s a lot of resources here but they’re limited. They’re not endless,” said Lynda Tealer, Florida’s senior women’s administrator. “No matter if it’s a big spot, a small pot – it’s always about making decisions. If it’s the forefront of your mind, provide equitable opportunities, that’s how you’re going to approach your resource allocation.”
Of course, it is never so simple to only look at the money and the titles. Complying with Title IX is far more complex than that. But it does give a sense of the philosophy of a department.
A look at Florida’s spending shows its commitment to women’s sports. The following information is pulled from yearly reports each school files with the NCAA. There is far more information in them than fits in this table, but I have tried to pull pertinent information to look at how they spend on their women’s programs.
With the exception of Arkansas, the information is from 2011 reports. The info on the Razorbacks’ is from 2010. South Carolina did not provide its report. As a private university, Vanderbilt does not have to provide its information in response to Freedom of Information requests.
|Support staff||Recruiting||Travel||Equipment||Game expenses|
|School||Marketing||Camps||Facility rental||Other||Total (women)||Total operating
|No. of teams||Pct. of operating budget
spent on women’s teams
|Alabama||2,399||,558||7,771||4,468||,214,919||5 million||12||13.5 percent|
|Arkansas*||,454||NA||,095,622||0,689||,574,041||.8 million||11||19.0 percent|
|Auburn||4,855||,812,109||0,465||,298,012||.6 million||12||18.8 percent|
|Florida||0,988||3,770||0,411||1,529||,259,385||7.1 million||12||16.0 percent|
|Georgia||NA||,773,556||9,254||,543,178||.6 million||12||9.4 percent|
|Kentucky||,765||3,133||,565||7,584||,917,064||.8 million||12||13.1 percent|
|LSU||,754||4,877||,104,694||,152,360||.7 million||11||13.4 percent|
|Ole Miss||,705||,226,699||1,128||,870,993||.1 million||10||20.8 percent|
|MSU||NA||1,867||,364||6,046||,297,536||.5 million||9||12.0 percent|
|Tennessee||5,755||7,534||8,753||3,744||,216,429||.5 million||11||17.6 percent|
Please use theregistration to leave a Reply